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A Rolls-Royce fit for Royalty


    A 1951 Rolls-Royce, which carried members of the Royal Family, is going under the Charterhouse hammer in their auction of classic and vintage cars on Sunday 15th July.

    “Rarely do you come across a car with such interesting history.” Commented Matthew Whitney. “The car has survived quite well over the past over the past 68 years although the blue leather seats have suffered over the decades but this was probably down to the heat of Africa rather than the bottoms of Royalty!”


    The 1951 Rolls-Royce, a Silver Dawn, was transported shortly after to Kenya aboard the SS Dunotter Castle. Arriving in Mombasa the car would have been used for the visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh had not King George VI not passed away during the royal couple’s tour cutting their visit short with them having to return to Britain.

    Princess Margaret used the Silver Dawn during her East African tour in 1956. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, also used it on her tour in 1963.

    Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, rode in the Rolls-Royce at the Kenyan independence celebrations in 1963. Selassie, who was a diminutive person, used a purple cushion to sit on in the car rather like a modern day booster seat.

    Jomo Kenyatta was also known to have sometimes used this Rolls-Royce. It was understood that he regarded this car to have more presence than that provided by the Kenyan State.

    In 1970, this Silver Dawn was bought by Dermot Kydd, a British diplomat. Dermot, and his wife Sylvia, happily drove the Rolls-Royce in Africa for the next 43 years until they returned to England followed by their beloved Roll-Royce transported amongst a cargo of flowers in a Beverley freight aircraft.

    Today, this 1951 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn which has ferried members of the Royal family, an Emperor of Ethiopia and a Kenyan President, is estimate at £34,000-38,000* when it is being sold by Charterhouse at their auction at Sherborne Castle on Sunday 15th July.

    Charterhouse are now accepting further entries for this 15th July auction of classic and vintage Sherborne Castle and classic motorcycles for their auction at Netley Marsh on 29th August. They are also taking pictures, books, maps and antiques for their 27th July.

    For further information regarding these auctions please contact Matthew Whitney or Richard Bromell at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or via email

    The 1951 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn being sold in the Charterhouse auction of classic & vintage cars on Sunday 15th July £34,000-38,000*

    *plus 13.2% buyer’s premium (inc VAT)